Bright, noisy, dripping in gold and not afraid to shake their booty at passing strangers, it can be hard sometimes to tell the difference between Manchester United's summer transfer policy and Glastonbury headliner Beyoncé. United's summer of rampant spending looks set to continue with a £6.5m deal for Celtic left-back Emilio Izaguirre — "100% true", says the player — followed by a £10m move for Barcelona's European-Under-21-final-free-kick-scoring Thiago Alcântara.

Barcelona are happy to sell him to a Premier League club, the Mirror reports, but only if they can have a buy-back clause inserted into the deal. United aren't keen on that and as a result look set to lose the player, possibly to Bolton. Well if they liked him they shoulda put a ring on him. Alcântara may in fact end up at Arsenal as a makeweight in the Cesc Fábregas deal, though the Telegraph reckons that Barça are preparing a £31m straight-cash offer for the midfielder that should land on a desk in north London sometime today.

Did anyone else notice, by the way, that Beyoncé's final words at the end of her Glastonbury set were "drive home safely"? Was that the least rock'n'roll moment in the entire history of rock'n'roll? Other, that is, than the moment Saturday headliners Coldplay submitted a rider rumoured to have included "an assortment of vegetarian, gluten-free dips". Anyway, we digress. More relevant Glasto talk: Wayne Rooney apparently spent three hours in a drum'n'bass tent and is reported to have been "chuffed" after meeting Mumford & Sons.

Spanish winger Juan Mata has leapt to the top of Arsenal's transfer wish-list. The 23-year-old has also been linked with Liverpool, but Kenny Dalglish has apparently shifted his focus to Tottenham's Aaron Lennon, though they'll have to stump up £18m either way. Talking of Arsenal, their other main target, the Vélez Sársfield midfielder Ricardo Alvarez, might now go to the equally interested Internazionale instead.

Talking of Spurs, it looks like Giovani dos Santos is heading to Spain, though Tottenham want a fairly ambitious £6.5m for the man who has started just nine games for the club in three years and can't find anyone who wants to pay it – it might help if they show potential bidders his goal in Saturday's Gold Cup final.

Talking of £18m-rated left wingers, Chelsea have been told they can have Arda Turan from Galatasaray, but only if the Turks get £7m and Didier Drogba in return. If Drogba does go the Blues might hang on to Daniel Sturridge, which would disappoint West Bromwich Albion, Bolton, Newcastle and Stoke.

Stoke's Matthew Etherington has jumped to the top of Aston Villa's list of replacements for the departing Stewart Downing, though with James Milner, Charles N'Zogbia, Matt Jarvis and Den Haag's Wesley Verhoek also there, it's a pretty chunky list. Downing, incidentally, will hand in a transfer request this week to force through a move to Liverpool, for whom Charlie Adam could sign today (with Jonjo Shelvey heading to Blackpool for a season-long loan).

Bolton are ready to lavish a combined £6m on Benfica winger Rodrigo and Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams.

Stoke — three mentions in one Mill: what are the odds? — whose back-up keeper Thomas Sorensen could be on his way to West Ham, want £4m-rated Monaco defender Cédric Mongongu. They have also made a complicated double bid for Birmingham duo Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome. Tony Pulis has proposed an £8m initial fee, with all sorts of bonus clauses meaning the fee might so much as double before the Potters have finished paying out. For that to happen, however, both players would have to earn international recognition, Stoke would have to break into the Premier League's top six and Andy Murray's collection of Percy Pig sweets would have to sprout wings and fly to the moon.

Craig Gardner is also likely to leave Birmingham, with Sunderland — who are also preparing a £7m bid for Reading's Shane Long — Wolves and Newcastle — who also want the Paris St-Germain striker Mevlüt Erdinc — scrapping over the goalscoring midfielder. Possibly coming to the Blues is Hibernian manager Colin Calderwood, who Chris Hughton wants to make his assistant (though he might end up taking Dann's place in defence at this rate).

Manchester City's megabucks transfer targets of the day are Fiorentina midfielder Alessio Cerci, Partizan Belgrade defender Stefan Savic and the Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero. But trumping them all is Porto's comedy-named striker Hulk, upon whom a £36m price tag has just been slapped.

And most likely recipient of QPR's squillions of the day is 37-year-old World Cup winning Italian centre-back legend Fabio Cannavaro.


Simon Burnton

The GuardianTramp

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